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Josh Freeman Released: Buccaneers Cut Quarterback One Week After Benching

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) passes over New England Patriots defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (93) to wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) | AP

TAMPA, Fla. — TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released quarterback Josh Freeman, one week after benching the fifth-year pro in favor of rookie Mike Glennon.

Freeman struggled the first three weeks of the season, completing just 45.7 percent of his passes. He's Tampa Bay's career leader in completions and touchdown passes and is second in passing yards.

The Bucs (0-4) released the 25-year-old after contacting every NFL team in an unsuccessful attempt to trade him. The club must pay him the remaining $6.25 million of his salary for this season.

General manager Mark Dominik announced the move Thursday, saying the move was in the best interest of the winless Bucs and Freeman, who threw for 4,065 yards, 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 2012.

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